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Guess which two pop divas are having the best week ever?! You got it – Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. British music’s biggest bad girls are both playing damage control after unflattering stories have been published about them in the rags. For Lily Allen, it’s the news that she won’t be playing the MTV Video Music Awards. The Mirror reports “that the 22-year-old pop star has been sensationally dropped from the MTV Music Awards – all because of the row over her American visa.” The paper also claims that Allen “was ORDERED by US officials to take blood and urine tests in a bid to get the visa decision overturned.” Lily Allen denies she was dropped from the show; in a statement, she says she pulled out because “the reinstatement process [for her visa] has proven lengthier than anticipated.” Perhaps due to a mandatory piss test that could conceivably reveal some illicit activities? Scandalous. If I were Lily, I’d stuff myself in a plastic bag, too.

And Amy Winehouse…God bless her, all 40 pounds of her. She has just pulled out of this week’s V Festival for “health issues” and denies she has a drug problem. Asked if she was abusing drugs, she told Radio 1, “I wouldn’t say so, no.” Her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, has been more vehement in denials, going on the offensive against the media reports about their alleged coke and heroin addictions:

“I wouldn’t believe it no. I would say there are a few problems there, but certainly not the magnitude that my mum was falsely quoted as saying.”

He added: “The main thing is that me and Amy are getting better. Don’t worry, she’s being looked after.

“We’re going back to this retreat. She’s determined to get well. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks but she’s fine, she’s loved and looked after.”

He even spoke with The Mirror, hoping to clear up any confusion caused by that interview with his mother, Georgette. He says he’s not the villain in all of this:

“Everyone thinks that everything that’s happened to Amy is my fault and I’m portrayed as the bad guy.

“But I just want everyone to know that I love her so so much.

“She’s so precious to me, she’s my wife and I want to take care of her, that’s why I’m taking her back to rehab. We only came back to London to get a guitar and then we’re going straight back. It’s not because we were too weak to stay.

“I love her so so much, she’s my world and the main thing is I just want to help her get better. I want the Mirror to print the truth.”

In light of recent events, The Guardian‘s Esther Addley profiles Winehouse and quotes her teacher from the Brit School for the Performing Arts: “You would have had to be mad not to realize that Amy was a very, very talented young woman and that she had what it took to be extremely successful.”

In other news:

  • Gotta love Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers. He trashes Snow Patrol in today’s NME: “Snow Patrol is the biggest divide in Britain. They’re probably the biggest band in Britain, but they’re also the most hated. It’s a weird dichotomy for them. They are utterly deplorable, there is something unredeemingly utterly shit about them, you just cannot put one’s finger on. It’s a desperate form of music, the endless repeated lines, over and over, the same drab fucking little thing on and on and on. They’re the great losers turned into the great winners, that’s their redemption. I won’t be watching them.”

  • Singer Edwyn Collins has sprung back two years after a near-fatal stroke. Even though, as The Guardian‘s Simon Goddard observes, he “limps, propelling himself slowly with a walking stick,” he has a new album out and truly a new lease on life.
  • Check out Portishead acolytes Malakai, whom The Guardian calls “the new sound of Bristol.”
  • Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek says “rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t exist” anymore. He also alleges that Pete Doherty is off drugs.(Gigwise)
  • Despite songs like “I Predict a Riot” and “The Angry Mob,” the Kaiser Chiefs are distinctly nice boys. Frontman Ricky Wilson says, “The most rock and roll thing we do is play gigs. We would never trash a room – we’d feel too bad for the cleaners.”(Contact Music)
  • BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles is gaining on the legendary Sir Terry Wogan in listeners: 7.26 million to Wogan’s 7.92 million.(Mirror)
  • Simon Aldred, frontman of much-buzzed-about band Cherry Ghost, chats with The Independent.
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Filed Under: Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.